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Flora Britannica
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£26.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 28 April 2014
My Countryside Ranger son had been wanting this book for ages but it is expensive, so I bought him a second-hand copy from Amazon and he is delighted. The book arrived within the time promised and was in good condition.
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on 21 November 2017
comprehensive guide at good price
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on 27 February 2013
You might be put off by the title _ DON'T BE! I received this book this morning, and it is BRILLIANT! If you think this is going to be all about getting on your knees in the mud, IT'S NOT! This is surely the ultimate book for all people who just want to be entertained by fabulous pictures of plants and fascinating information about why they are so special. Do not be put off by the rather pretentious title. Instead just wallow in Richard Mabey's extremely accessible and hugely knowledgable celebration of what a day in the countryside should be all about.
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on 1 March 1999
Once, even the most illiterate British home possessed a few books. Not just the obvious culprits like the bible or a world atlas, but the less recognised publications too, like the AA's UK Road Guide, Home-brewing for Beginners and, favourite of all, the Reader's Digest Guide to British Wildlife and Plants. The Reader's Digest guides don't seem to be around anymore, but never mind, because 'Flora Britannica' deserves to take its place in all our lives. It's richly-coloured photographs detail the flowers, plants and even weeds of the UK. Their stories, place in history, medicinal uses, recipes - even their appearance in nursery rhymes, they're all covered between the pages of this glorious book. Thousands of people all over the UK contributed to this book, and it shows. Every page feels like Mabey's labour of love. Apparently it took five years to put together and was a decade in the planning. I can believe it too. Buy the hardback, treat it like an old friend, pass it on to your children. 'Flora Britannica' is destined to be the an heirloom for the 21st century.
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on 30 October 2002
This is a high quality books - with good photographs and decent length entries on the wild flowers, herbs and trees you'll know if you have grown up in the country.
The marvellous bit about it is the way the author has drawn from contributors all over the country who have passed on their local names, stories and memories about common British plants. A real storehouse to be read and enjoyed on those windy and wet days when you can't go out and look for yourself. Many people's memories are from childhood, a reminder that we often really get to know the plants and animals around us in our early years. So it is a book to keep and hand on.
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VINE VOICEon 13 October 2008
I recall hearing Richard Mabey discussing this book on a radio show, before it was published and thinking its premise: collecting contibutors' personal experiences of British plant life, seemed rather uninspired. Surely this kind of thing has been done to death? Nature magazine columns have been filled for years with people writing accounts of things they have seen in the British countryside.

When it was published, I was further put off by the high price of the book.

I was completely wrong on both counts, the price, when the size, scope and quality of the book are considered, seems more than reasonable. As to the premise of the work, Richard Mabey, a genius writer in my opinion, pulls all the various accounts from amateur contributors together into a cohesive and coherent whole, that manages to maintain the same well mannered and good humoured tone throughout its long length.

It is possible to read the book piecemeal, picking out species that interest you specially , but I feel reading it from cover to cover best allows the reader to appreciate what the author has achieved.

This is not an identification guide, although the photographs are of top quality, and the amount of space devoted to each species varies wildly, but the "Flora" succeeds in its aim to be a folk history rather than purely a Natural History work.

Beware of books that may seem to continue this work, e.g."Fauna Britannica", which do not, in fact, have much in common with this fine volume.
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on 9 November 2016
This is a beautifully produced and printed weighty book. The photographs and text are both excellent. The author writes in a clear way and conveys his knowledge with style. He wears his learning lightly. This is not a detailed and dry botanical account of British flora but a fascinating record of how people have lived with and used plants over the centuries. I got my copy some 20 years ago when it first came out and I have dipped into it regularly since then. It's not really a reference book but if that's what you're looking for there are any number of them available.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 January 2011
Flora Britannica is a book about the role of plants in human life, past and present. It is descriptive, discursive, witty and heart-warming. It is not an ID guide, oh no, not at all.

Mabey assembles folklore, ecology, poetry and anecdotes from a huge number of contributors, making this a unique sourcebook for anyone interested in our relationship with wild plants. Proper indexing makes it easy to find not just plants but associations - for example, there are index references to "Wind in the Willows", the Great Fire of London and Midsummer Day. There is even an appendix giving plants' common names in Gaelic and the Scots and Shetland norse dialects (though not, inexplicably, Welsh). An extensive bibliography is augmented by a list of contributors; another index links locations to photographs.

Mabey has taken great pains to make this a useful, as well as an enjoyable book. It is huge, and you'd dip into it rather than reading it cover-to-cover. Use it throughout the year, reading up on plants you have seen or might like to go in search of. For something lighter and more delicious, try the book's forerunner The Flowering of Britain, which is magical and inspiring, as well as being a racy and engaging read. A book on the folklore of plants which complements this book is The Englishman's Flora (Helicon reference classics) by Geoffrey Grigson
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on 23 March 2017
Great book about the native plants of England, Scotland and Wales.
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on 4 June 2003
This is a very good encyclopedia, with a lot of information about the history and uses of the various plants found in Britain. My only criticism is that the pictures show the plants in their natural habitat rather than close up. This means it is sometimes difficult to identify the plant from the picture. After saying that, this book is not a hady field guide that you would carry round anyway. It being 400+ pages.
As a home fererence work, I can reccomend it, and I have spent ages browsing through it's pages discovering interesting things about the plants that are all arround us.
Paul
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